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Summary The central issue in the free will debate is whether freedom is compatible with causal determinism. Closely parallel issues are raised by considering God's foreknowledge. God is usually held to be omniscient, and His omniscience extends to knowing how agents will act in future. The problem of freedom and foreknowledge is the problem of reconciling our freedom to act with the claim that God knows how we will act prior to our acting. If God knows how I will act before I will, it appears that I must act in the way God predicts and therefore lack the freedom to do otherwise.
Key works The problem of freedom and foreknowledge was and remains central to the philosophy of religion, beginning in the 6th century with Boethius 2008, who argued that God was outside of time and therefore it is false that God's knowledge of how I will act precedes my acting.Ockham 1983 distinguished between hard and soft facts, where hard facts alone are entirely about the past. Since God's foreknowledge consists of soft facts which is supposed to undermine its having a kind of necessity that threatens free will. The Molinist solution - Molina 1988 - turns on the claim that foreknowledge is "middle knowledge", consisting of a set of counterfactuals concerning how every free being would act in particular circumstances.
Introductions Zagzebski 1997
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  1. Robert Ackermann (1982). An Alternative Free Will Defence. Religious Studies 18 (3):365 - 372.
    Many philosophers have written in the past as though it were nearly obvious to rational reflection that the existence of evil in this world is incompatible with the presumed properties of the Christian God, and they have assumed a proof of incompatibility to be easy to construct. An informal underpinning for this line of thought is easy to develop. Surely God in his benevolence finds evil to be evil, and hence has both the desire and the means, provided by his (...)
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  2. Marilyn Mccord Adams (1967). The Problem of God's Foreknowledge and Free Will in Boethius and William Ockham. Dissertation, Cornell University
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  3. Robert Merrihew Adams & Vincent C. Müller (1998). Mittleres Wissen und das Problem des Übels [Middle knowledge and the problem of evil]. In Christian Jäger (ed.), Analytische Religionsphilosophie. Ferdinand Schöningh 253-272.
    Wenn Präsident Kennedy nicht erschossen worden wäre, hätte er dann Nordvietnam bombardiert? Das weiß Gott allein. Oder doch nicht? Weiß wenigstens Er, was Kennedy getan hätte? ... Die Jesuiten behaupteten unter anderem, daß viele menschliche Handlungen in dem Sinne frei seien, daß die Ausführenden nicht logisch oder kausal gezwungen seien, sie auszuführen. („Frei“ wird im vorliegenden Aufsatz stets in diesem Sinne verwendet werden.) Wie behält Gott dann die Kontrolle über die menschliche Geschichte? Nicht dadurch, daß Er menschliche Handlungen kausal determiniert, (...)
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  4. Warwick Aiken (1973). Predestination and Free Will! [Charlston, S.C..
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  5. Leslie Allan, Plantinga's Free Will Defence: Critical Note.
    Some atheistic philosophers have argued that God could have created a world with free moral agents and yet absent of moral evil. Using possible world semantics, Alvin Plantinga sought to defuse this logical form of the problem of evil. In this critical note, Leslie Allan examines the adequacy of Plantinga's argument that the existence of God is logically compatible with the existence of moral evil. The veracity of Plantinga's argument turns on whether his essential use of counterfactual conditionals preserves the (...)
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  6. Michael J. Almeida (2004). Ideal Worlds and the Transworld Untrustworthy. Religious Studies 40 (1):113-123.
    The celebrated free-will defence was designed to show that the ideal-world thesis presents no challenge to theism. The ideal-world thesis states that, in any world in which God exists, He can actualize a world containing moral good and no moral evil. I consider an intriguing two-stage argument that Michael Bergmann advances for the free-will defence, and show that the argument provides atheologians with no reason to abandon the ideal-world thesis. I show next that the existence of worlds in which every (...)
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  7. W. S. Anglin (1990). Free Will and the Christian Faith. Oxford University Press.
    Libertarians such as J.R. Lucas have abandoned traditional Christian doctrines because they cannot reconcile them with the freedom of the will. Traditional Christian thinkers such as Augustine have repudiated libertarianism because they cannot reconcile it with the dogmas of the Faith. In Free Will and the Christian Faith, W.S. Anglin demonstrates that free will and traditional Christianity are ineed compatible. He examines, and solves, puzzles about the relationships between free will and omnipotence, omniscience, and God's goodness, using the idea of (...)
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  8. Steven S. Aspenson (1989). Reply to O'Connor. Faith and Philosophy 6 (1):95-98.
    In this reply I consider David O’Connor’s article “A Variation on the Free Will Defense” in which he tries to show that natural evil is necessary for free will by showing that it is required for the possibility of “morally creditable free choice.” I argue that O’Connor’s reply to an anticipated objection was unsuccessful in showing that humans can be moral without the property he calls “p.” that an altered understanding of what “morally creditable free choice” is would not help. (...)
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  9. Augustine (2009). God's Foreknowledge and Free Will. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy of Religion: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press
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  10. David Basinger (1991). Process Theism Versus Free-Will Theism. Process Studies 20 (4):204-220.
  11. David Basinger & Randall Basinger (1982). Divine Determinateness and the Free Will Defense. Philosophy Research Archives 8:531-534.
    Proponents of The Free Will Defense frequently argue that it is necessary for God to create self-directing beings who possess the capacity for producing evil because, in the words of F.R. Tennant, “moral goodness must be the result of a self-directing developmental process.” But if this is true, David Paulsen has recently argued, then the proponent of the Free Will Defense cannot claim that God has an eternally determinate nature. For if God has an eternally determinatenature and moral goodness must (...)
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  12. Endre Begby (2005). Leibniz on Determinism and Divine Foreknowledge. Studia Leibnitiana 37 (1):83-98.
    Nach Michael J. Murrays Aufsatz „Leibniz on Divine Foreknowledge of Future Contingents and Human Freedom" ist Leibniz nicht als Kompatibilist zu verstehen. Die göttliche Vorhersehung beruhe nicht darauf, dass menschliche Handlungen mechanischen Gesetzen von Ursache und Wirkung (causa efficiens) gehorchen, sondern auf den für diese Handlungen spezifischen geistigen Gesetzen (causa finalis, moralische Gesetze, etc.). In diesem Aufsatz argumentiere ich, dass Murray die Tragweite des Grundsatzes vom hinreichenden Grund in Leibniz' Philosophie nicht richtig versteht. Des Weiteren zeige ich, dass die Unterscheidung (...)
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  13. Yemima Ben-Menahem (1988). Free Will and Foreknowledge: A Fresh Approach to a Classic Problem. Philosophical Quarterly 38 (153):486-490.
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  14. Michael Bergmann (1999). Might-Counterfactuals, Transworld Untrustworthiness and Plantinga's Free Will Defence. Faith and Philosophy 16 (3):336-351.
    Plantinga’s Free Will Defense (FWD) employs the following proposition as a premise:◊TD. Possibly, every essence is transworld depraved.I argue that he fails to establish his intended conclusion because the denial of ◊TD is epistemically possible. I then consider an improved version of the FWD which relies on◊TU. Possibly, every essence is transworld untrustworthy.(The notion of transworld untrustworthiness is the might-counterfactual counterpart to Plantinga’s would-counterfactual notion of transworld depravity.) I argue that the denial of ◊TU is also epistemically possible and, therefore, (...)
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  15. C’Zar Bernstein & Nathaniel Helms (2015). A Simpler Free Will Defence. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 77 (3):197-203.
    Otte :165–177, 2009) and Pruss :400–415, 2012) have produced counterexamples to Plantinga’s famous free will defence against the logical version of the problem of evil. The target of this criticism is the possibility of universal transworld depravity, which is crucial to Plantinga’s defence. In this paper, we argue that there is a simpler and more plausible free will defence that does not require the possibility of universal transworld depravity or the truth of counterfactuals of creaturely freedom. We assume only that (...)
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  16. Fred Berthold (1981). Free Will and Theodicy in Augustine: An Exposition and Critique. Religious Studies 17 (4):525.
    Not only for Augustine, but for virtually all Christian theologians, the doctrine of free will is of critical importance for theodicy. The reason for this is easy to state: these theologians trace either all or much evil to human sin, which in turn is understood as an abuse of the free will with which human beings were endowed by their Creator. Augustine sums it very well: ‘… all that we call evil is either sin or punishment for sin’. The argument (...)
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  17. Abdur Rashid Bhat (2006). Free Will and Determinism. Journal of Islamic Philosophy 2 (1):7-24.
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  18. Jonny Blamey (2008). What Do They Know? Think 6 (17-18):121-127.
    Can you know something that isn't true? If it is both possible to know what someone else will choose to do, and possible that they will choose something different, then it could be possible to know something that is in fact false.
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  19. Alex Blum (2012). Foreknowledge and Free Will. Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19 (1):55-57.
    We contend that since what is true cannot be false, foreknowledge is transparently incompatible with free will. We argue that what is crucial to the conflict is the role of truth in foreknowledge and that the identity of the one who foreknows is irrelevant.
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  20. Alex Blum (2012). Foreknowledge and Free Will. Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19 (1):55-57.
    We contend that since what is true cannot be false, foreknowledge is transparently incompatible with free will. We argue that what is crucial to the conflict is the role of truth in foreknowledge and that the identity of the one who foreknows is irrelevant.
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  21. Steven E. Boër (1978). The Irrelevance of the Free Will Defence. Analysis 38 (2):110 - 112.
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  22. Kenneth Boyce (2011). Non-Moral Evil and the Free Will Defense. Faith and Philosophy 28 (4):371-384.
    Paradigmatic examples of logical arguments from evil are attempts to establish that the following claims are inconsistent with one another: (1) God is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good. (2) There is evil in the world. Alvin Plantinga’s free will defense resists such arguments by providing a positive case that (1) and (2) are consistent. A weakness in Plantinga’s free will defense, however, is that it does not show that theism is consistent with the proposition that there are non-moral evils in (...)
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  23. Robert F. Brown (1991). Divine Omniscience, Immutability, Aseity and Human Free Will. Religious Studies 27 (3):285-295.
  24. Anthony Brueckner (2000). On an Attempt to Demonstrate the Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom. Faith and Philosophy 17 (1):132-134.
    Ted A. Warfield seeks to establish the compatibility in question by getting the incompatibilist to reject an unpersuasive argument from fatalism to the conclusion that a given action is not freely done. He maintains that such a rejection requires the the incompatibilist to hold that there is a possible world in which the fatalist’s premise is true and in which the conclusion is false (and so the given action is freely done). If a foreknowing God exists in that world, then (...)
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  25. Godehard Brüntrup & Ruben Schneider (2011). How Molinists Can Have Their Cake and Eat It Too. In Christian Kanzian Kanzian, Winfried Löffler & Josef Quitterer (eds.), The Ways Things Are: Studies in Ontology. Ontos 221-240.
    Paper on divine foreknowledge and human freedom.
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  26. Hugh S. Chandler (1985). Book Review:God, Free Will, and Morality. Robert J. Richman. [REVIEW] Ethics 95 (3):743-.
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  27. Ian Clausen (2011). On the Free Choice of the Will, On Grace and Free Choice, and Other Writings. [REVIEW] Augustinian Studies 42 (1):123-125.
  28. Richard H. Corrigan (forthcoming). Could God Know What I Would Freely Do? Philosophical Frontiers: Essays and Emerging Thoughts.
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  29. Michael J. Coughlan (1987). In Defence of Free Will Theodicy. Religious Studies 23 (4):543 - 554.
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  30. Steven B. Cowan (2011). Compatibilism and the Sinlessness of the Redeemed in Heaven. Faith and Philosophy 28 (4):416-431.
    In a recent issue of Faith and Philosophy, Timothy Pawl and Kevin Timpe seek to respond to the so-called “Problem of Heavenly Freedom,” the problem ofexplaining how the redeemed in heaven can be free yet incapable of sinning. In the course of offering their solution, they argue that compatibilism is inadequateas a solution because it (1) undermines the free will defense against the logical problem of evil, and (2) exacerbates the problem of evil by making God the “author of sin.” (...)
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  31. William Lane Craig (1990). Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom. London: E. J. Brill.
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  32. William Lane Craig (1986). Temporal Necessity; Hard Facts/Soft Facts. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 20 (2/3):65 - 91.
    In conclusion, then, the notion of temporal necessity is certainly queer and perhaps a misnomer. It really has little to do with temporality per se and everything to do with counterfactual openness or closedness. We have seen that the future is as unalterable as the past, but that this purely logical truth is not antithetical to freedom or contingency. Moreover, we have found certain past facts are counterfactually open in that were future events or actualities to be other than they (...)
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  33. William Lane Craig (1984). Augustine on Foreknowledge and Free Will. Augustinian Studies 15:41-63.
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  34. Dennis Danielson (1977). Timelessness, Foreknowledge, and Free Will. Mind 86 (343):430-432.
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  35. Stephen T. Davis (1972). A Defence of the Free Will Defence. Religious Studies 8 (4):335 - 343.
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  36. Maria De Cillis (2014). Free Will and Predestination in Iislamic Thought: Theoretical Compromises in the Works of Avicenna, Ghazali and Ibn Arabi. Routledge.
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  37. Ciro De Florio & Aldo Frigerio (2015). In Defense of the Timeless Solution to the Problem of Human Free Will and Divine Foreknowledge. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (1):5-28.
    In this paper, we will defend a particular version of the timeless solution to the problem of divine foreknowledge and human freedom. Our strategy is grounded on a particular temporal framework, which models the flow of time and a libertarian understanding of freedom. The propositions describing a certain act by an agent have an indeterminate truth value until the agent makes her choice; therefore, they become true or false when a decision is made. In order to account for this change (...)
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  38. P. Dvorak (2004). The Molinist Theory of the Relation of Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom in Late Scholasticism and Current Analytical Philosophy. Filosoficky Casopis 52 (4):545-557.
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  39. Amos Edelheit (2008). Human Will, Human Dignity, and Freedom: A Study of Giorgio Benigno Salviati's Early Discussion of the Will, Urbino 1474-1482. Vivarium 46 (1):82-114.
    This article presents the first detailed account of Giorgio Benigno Salviati's discussion of the will written in Urbino during the mid-1470s and the early 1480s. A Franciscan friar and a prominent professor of theology and philosophy, Salviati was a prolific author and central figure in the circles of Cardinal Bessarion in Rome and of Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence. This article focuses on his defense of the Scotist theory of the will. It considers its fifteenth-century context, in which both humanist (...)
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  40. Jonathan Edwards (2009). Jonathan Edwards, Freedom of the Will, The Works of Jonathan Edward, Vol. I. Yale University Press.
    Presents an analysis of Jonathan Edwards' theological position. This book includes a study of his life and the intellectual issues in the America of his time, and examines the problem of free will in connection with Leibniz, Locke, and Hume.
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  41. Leo J. Elders (1990). God, Foreknowledge, and Freedom. Review of Metaphysics 44 (2):418-419.
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  42. Jonathan N. Evans (1983). Lafollette on Plantinga's Free Will Defense. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (2):117 - 121.
  43. Austin Marsden Farrer (1960). The Freedom of the Will. New York, Scribner.
  44. John M. Fischer (2009). Freedom, Foreknowledge, and Frankfurt. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (3):327-342.
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  45. John M. Fischer (2008). Freedom, Foreknowledge, and Frankfurt: A Reply to Vihvelin. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (3):pp. 327-342.
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  46. John Martin Fischer (2016). Our Fate: Essays on God and Free Will. Oxford University Press Usa.
    Our Fate is a collection of John Martin Fischer's previously published articles on the relationship between God's foreknowledge and human freedom. The book contains a new introductory essay that places all of the chapters in the book into a cohesive framework. The introductory essay also provides some new views about the issues treated in the book, including a bold and original account of God's foreknowledge of free actions in a causally indeterministic world. The focus of the book is a powerful (...)
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  47. John Martin Fischer (ed.) (2005). Free Will: Critical Concepts in Philosophy. Routledge.
    Over the last three decades there has been a tremendous amount of philosophical work in the Anglo-American tradition on the cluster of topics pertaining to Free Will. Of course, this work has in many instances built on and extended the historical treatments of this great area of philosophical interest. The issues range from fairly abstract philosophical questions about the logic of arguments about human freedom (and its relationship to prior predictability of our choices and actions, or God's foreknowledge, or causal (...)
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  48. John Martin Fischer (1985). Scotism. Mind 94 (April):231-243.
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  49. John Martin Fischer (1983). Freedom and Foreknowledge. Philosophical Review 92 (1):67-79.
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  50. John Martin Fischer (1982). Contemporary Approaches to Free Will. Dissertation, Cornell University
    I begin with two compatibilist analyses of freedom: the conditional analysis and Lehrer's possible-worlds analysis. While certain arguments fail to undermine the conditional analysis, I present one which shows the inadequacy of the simple conditional analysis and a class of refinements of it. I find reason to reject the simple conditional analysis, refinements designed to account for "schizophrenic" objects, and Lehrer's conjunction of conditionals. ;I show how we might modify Lehrer's possible-worlds analysis to avoid compatibilist objections, by replacing the notion (...)
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